Senate GOP to Obama: Focus on cyber info sharing

Ahead of the State of the Union address Tuesday, the Senate Republican Policy Committee called on President Obama to focus his cybersecurity policy efforts on public-private partnerships.

“It is imperative the president and Congress get serious about tackling the issue,” said the group, which is chaired by Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoThis week: Trump set for Senate setback on emergency declaration We should end tax giveaways to electric vehicle owners Overnight Energy: McConnell plans Green New Deal vote before August recess | EPA official grilled over enforcement numbers | Green group challenges Trump over Utah pipelines MORE (R-Wyo.).  

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The White House last week rolled out a series of cybersecurity legislative proposals intended to create a nationwide data breach notification law, establish minimum cybersecurity standards, protect student data and enhance public-private cyber threat information sharing.

Obama is expected to highlight these offerings in his speech Tuesday night.

However, Republican senators feel the president should be concentrating mostly on the information sharing portion of his proposal.

“The most effective policy to thwart cybersecurity threats will be to advance proposals based on a balanced public-private partnership,” the group said.

The message was part of the policy committee’s missive on “what the president won’t say” in the State of the Union.

Senate Republicans vowed to proffer their own cyber measures.

“There will be bipartisan proposals aimed at enhancing protections for the private sector, government, and consumer stakeholders,” the group said. “Legislation is expected to address information sharing between the public and private sectors; enhancement of cyber research and development; cyber theft; and building a sufficient cyber workforce.”

Exactly what forms that legislation would take, and who would introduce the bills, is unclear.

After the White House dropped its own legislative proposals, a number of key Republican leaders on cybersecurity said they would be willing to work with the administration on its information sharing proposal.

“The president’s proposal is an important first step in developing [cyber info sharing] legislation,” said Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonScott Walker considering running for Wisconsin governor or Senate: report GOP moves to rein in president's emergency powers The Hill's 12:30 Report: O'Rourke jumps into 2020 fray MORE (R-Wis.), Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee chairman.

“When we've got a committed White House, I can assure you it'll be matched by a committed Senate of the United States,” said Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrGOP's Tillis comes under pressure for taking on Trump Warner says there are 'enormous amounts of evidence' suggesting Russia collusion McCarthy dismisses Democrat's plans: 'Show me where the president did anything to be impeached' MORE (R-N.C.).

Burr added that the Intelligence ranking member Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGOP rep to introduce constitutional amendment to limit Supreme Court seats to 9 Senate Dems petition Saudi king to release dissidents, US citizen Court-packing becomes new litmus test on left MORE (D-Calif.) was working with him on a proposal.